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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities/dog-kennel-boarding-licensing-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities
This guidance is for local authority inspectors in England. You should read it alongside the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.
To decide if an activity is covered by the regulations and needs a licence to operate, you should consider all of the following guidance.
All dog kennel boarding activities need a licence if they are carried out as a commercial business.
To decide if an activity is a business and will need a licence, consider if the operator:
You should also consider HMRC’s 9 badges of trade.
If someone has a trading income below the HMRC trading income allowance, they do not require a licence for their activities.
If someone has a trading income above the HMRC trading income allowance, they do not automatically qualify as a business.
To be in scope, they must:
Every business must keep an up-to-date list of all their premises where they carry out activities covered by the LAIA 2018 regulations.
Activities that fulfil one or more of the following criteria do not require a licence:
It is expected that all businesses will meet and maintain minimum standards. If on a renewal inspection you identify minor failings that do not compromise welfare standards, follow the risk-based approach to renewing a licence .
To grant a new animal activities licence for kennel boarding dogs, you must check that businesses meet all of the minimum standards in this guidance.
Businesses that meet the higher standard will get a 4 or 5 star rating in the animals activity star rating system.
Higher standards are required or optional. To achieve a higher rating, businesses boarding dogs need to achieve:
If a business meets the higher standards, it will qualify for a longer licence that’s valid for 2 or 3 years rather than one year. This lowers the cost of the licence.
See Animal activity licensing process: statutory guidance for local authorities for an explanation of the animal activity star rating system and how it incorporates a risk assessment of the business.
Paragraph numbers relate to the conditions in the schedules of the regulations.
1.1 A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
The licensed premises address must be displayed on the licence. It must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises, such as the entrance.
1.2 The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder’s licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.
2.1 The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form or, where any such records are stored in electronic form, in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.
2.2 The licence holder must keep all such records for at least 3 years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
Electronic records must be backed up.
3.1 No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.
This licence applies only to the boarding of dogs. However, if there are welfare concerns relating to other animals then the inspector should inform any or all of the following, as appropriate:
3.2 The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable, taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity.
The licence conditions must clearly state the numbers of dogs that are kept for the licensable activity permitted at the premises. Undeclared numbers would be a breach of the licence, especially if not reflected in increased staffing levels.
Consideration of what is reasonable should take into account where a licenced premises keeps other dogs that are outside of the licenced activity, but who are cared for by the same staff which might impact facilities and staffing (for example, pets and retired dogs).
4.1 Sufficient numbers of people who are competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.
Each member of staff should have 25 dogs or less to care for.
If there is evidence that the dog’s welfare needs are not being met, you should consider the staffing levels against:
4.2 The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour
You should look at training records as evidence of suitable induction training of staff in:
Staff who care for the dogs must either:
If no accredited training course exists that is appropriate to the activity, then other evidence of training must be provided, such as industry generated courses.
Individuals undertaking an Ofqual regulated qualification must have suitably progressed in 12 months and have completed the qualification within 2 years.
4.3 The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.
The staff training policy must be reviewed and updated each year.
This applies to all staff including the licence holder.
Staff participation can be shown by:
Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided.
The licence holder needs to have at least one full-time member of staff for every 15 dogs kept.
There must be a member of permanent, full-time staff with an appropriate Level 3 Ofqual regulated qualification.
5.1 All areas, equipment and appliances that animals can access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.
Dogs should be accommodated in a kennel unit, defined as a sleeping area and an attached run.
The interior and exterior of the buildings must be maintained in good repair. Outer paths, gardens, exercise areas and general surroundings must be kept in a good, clean, presentable condition.
There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards that could risk injuring a dog.
Timber, if used, must be:
Exposed wood must be smooth and treated and properly maintained to render it waterproof. All structural exterior wood (for example, fence posts) must be properly treated against wood rot (for example, tanalised). Only non-toxic products may be used.
No standing water from cleaning or urine is acceptable. Drainage must be permanently unblocked, with liquids able to run off into drains immediately. Drainage channels should be provided so that urine is not allowed to pass over walk areas in corridors and communal access areas.
Any drain covers in areas where dogs have access must be secure and designed and located to prevent toes and claws from being caught.
All interior surfaces that dogs have access to must be cleaned regularly and maintained in good order and repair. Wherever possible, interior surfaces must be smooth, waterproof and able to be cleaned. Floors must be non-hazardous for dogs to walk on, in particular to avoid slipping.
Doors and windows to the outside must be escape proof, securable, strong enough to resist impact and scratching, and to prevent injury. External doors and gates must be lockable. Those involved in the care of the dogs must have easy access to keys and any key code in case of emergency.
There must be at least 2 secure physical barriers (for example, a door or gate) between a dog and any entrance or exit to the property to the outer curtilage to avoid escape.
All wire fencing must be strong and rigid, sufficient height and kept in good repair to prevent an escape and dig-proof structure. If dogs have access to mesh, the diameter of the wire must not be less than 2 millimetres (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh).
Square mesh size must not exceed 50 millimetres by 50 millimetres and for chain link it must not exceed 75 millimetres by 50 millimetres. Gaps or apertures must be small enough to prevent a dog’s head passing through, or entrapment of any limb or body parts.
Any electrical sockets and appliances in the dog designated rooms and where the dogs have access to must be secure and protected against damage.
Unit doors should open inwards to protect the health and safety of attending staff. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of staff. For kennels where there are facing dog units accessed by an indoor corridor, the corridor should be at least 1.2 metres wide. If this is not feasible, demonstrable measures must be in place to protect the safety of staff.
Door openings must be constructed so that the passage of water and waste is not slowed or allowed to gather due to inaccessibility.
Kennels and runs must open onto secure corridors or other secure areas so that dogs are not able to escape from the premises. These corridors and areas must not be used as an exercise area.
Each unit should have a minimum headroom height of 1.8 metres and be designed to allow staff to access dogs and clean all parts of the unit safely. Where this is not feasible there must be a documented procedure in place to demonstrate the safety of staff.
5.2 Animals must be kept in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) at all times, with respect to:
(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature
(c) the water quality (where relevant)
Dogs must not be restricted to areas when climatic conditions may cause them distress. Insulation and temperature regulation in the kennels must aim to keep the temperature in some part of the sleeping area above an absolute minimum of 10°C and below a maximum of 26°C.
Dogs must be monitored to check if they are too hot or too cold. If an individual dog is showing signs of heat or cold intolerance, steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the dog. A dog must be able to remove itself from a direct source of heat.
Adequate ventilation must be provided to all interior areas without the creation of excessive, localised draughts, and to avoid excess humidity.
Heaters and electrical equipment must not be placed in a manner or location where they present a risk of burning or electric shock to dogs or humans, or a risk of fire.
Dogs that may be adversely affected by the barking of other dogs should be located in the quietest part of the kennel facility. Excessive noise must be avoided.
Dogs must have exposure to natural light for at least parts of the day.
5.3 Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.
Each occupied kennel must be cleaned daily at a minimum.
Dogs must be removed from the area when it is being cleaned.
Dogs should benefit from adequate routine grooming and other health regimes as needed and agreed with the owner. For example, eye cleaning or preventing long fur from matting. This must include attention to coat, teeth, ears and nails and inspection for parasites.
5.4 Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.
Dogs must have regular opportunities during the day for toileting, taking into account individual needs.
There must be direct and continuous access to a run for toileting. Where a dog will not toilet in its kennel unit, the dog must be removed from the kennel unit to toilet away from its bed and to exercise at least 4 times a day.
5.5 Procedures must be in place to make sure housing and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The housing must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Kennel units must be inspected daily and kept in a clean condition, in accordance with the cleaning and disinfection procedure produced by the facility.
Kennels must be disinfected at least once a week and at occupancy change.
Faeces must be removed from all areas as often as necessary and in any case a minimum of twice a day. Where a pest problem is identified, a control programme must be implemented.
5.6 The animals must be transported and handled in a manner that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease. This includes considering housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency.
All animals must be transported according to the regulations laid down in current legislation.
The licence holder must demonstrate that a suitable vehicle is available to transport the dogs. It does not have to be owned by the licence holder.
During transport, dogs must be suitably restrained to prevent injury using any of the following:
Dog crates need to be of adequate size for the dog to stand, lie down and turn around freely. Crates must be designed to provide good ventilation and be firmly secured.
Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected after each collection and delivery of any dogs.
Dogs must not be left in vehicles for unreasonable periods and must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may pose a risk to the animal. Consideration must be given to whether it is necessary to transport animals when the temperature poses a risk.
Sufficient breaks must be offered for water, food where appropriate and the chance to go to the toilet.
Dogs must be transported to vet facilities in an appropriate manner for their condition, taking care that transport does not cause further suffering. Veterinary advice on the condition of the animal and suitability for transport should be sought before transport.
5.7 All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.
Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must be available. Where artificial lighting is used, this must be within a range of 10 to 12 hours daily.
Lights must be turned off to provide a period of darkness overnight.
5.8 All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.
There must be multiples of all resources equal or greater than the number of dogs in the unit.
Resources include, but are not limited to:
Dogs must be carefully monitored, especially at feeding times.
5.9 The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress.
Trained and competent staff must observe dogs regularly throughout the day as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of each dog.
Dogs must be provided with a design and layout that gives them choice.
All individual dogs must be checked at least once at an appropriate interval during the out of hours period (for example, between 6pm and 8am) by CCTV or in person. There must be documented records for checking.
Ventilation must be a managed, fixed or portable air system to make sure appropriate temperatures are maintained in all weathers. This can be an air conditioning unit or removable fans safely installed away from animals.
A noise management plan to reduce noise to the dogs must be in place.
6.1 The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.
Adult dogs must be fed at least once per day and in accordance with the individual dog’s needs. Dogs must be fed a complete diet appropriate to their age, breed, activity level and stage in the breeding cycle.
The diet must be agreed with the dog’s owner. If there are concerns about an individual dog’s diet, staff must tell the owners and seek veterinary advice.
Dogs must be fed separately from other dogs, unless the owner has agreed dogs from the same household can share a unit.
6.2 Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.
Dogs must be monitored if they remain inappetent (without appetite) for longer than 24 hours. If there are concerns, staff must seek veterinary advice.
Water intake must be checked and staff must seek veterinary advice if the dog is not drinking or is drinking excessively.
The general condition of all long-stay dogs must be monitored and dogs displaying significant weight loss or gain must be evaluated by a vet and treated as necessary.
Staff must follow veterinary advice must be followed if they feed dogs that:
6.3 Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.
Food bowls should be emptied and cleaned following feeding so that food, particularly wet food, is not left out until the next feeding time.
The premises must have fridges to store feed.
6.4 Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.
6.5 Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.
Fresh clean drinking water must be provided daily in a clean container and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.
There must be multiple water bowls provided so that all dogs have ready access to water.
6.6 Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.
A separate hand wash basin with an adequate supply of hot and cold water must be provided for staff to wash their hands. This must be connected to a suitable drainage system.
Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available.
The food preparation area must be kept clean and vermin-free at all times.
Receptacles for a dog’s food and drink must not be used for any other purposes.
7.1 Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and outside environments.
A documented programme must be available and agreed with the owner, setting out enrichment both inside and outside. This includes grooming, socialisation and play.
All dogs must receive appropriate toys or feeding enrichment (or both) unless veterinary advice suggests otherwise.
Items must be checked daily to make sure they are safe and must not be left with dogs when staff are not on the premises.
Potential competition between dogs must be avoided.
7.2 For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals’ physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a vet suggests otherwise.
Opportunities to exercise must involve at least one walk per day or access to a secure open space away from the kennel unit.
Consideration must be given to life stage, physical and mental health and breed when planning daily exercise.
No more than 6 dogs per person can be walked at one time. The owner’s consent is needed for a dog to walk with other dogs. Dogs must be familiarised with each other before the walk.
Dogs that cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.
Outdoor areas must not be used by more than one dog at any one time, unless they are from the same household or prior written consent has been obtained from the owners.
Outdoor areas must be cleared of all potential hazards after each use. Faeces must be picked up between dogs using an area.
Where artificial turf is used, it must be maintained in good repair to avoid ingestion hazards.
Dogs must not have direct access to bins.
The outdoor or garden area of the premises and any other area that boarded dogs may have access to must be secure and safe.
Dogs must not have unsupervised access to ponds, pools, wells and any other garden feature that might be a threat.
7.3 The animals’ behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a vet or, in the case of fish, any person competent to give such advice if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.
The behaviour of each dog must be monitored daily. Changes in behaviours must be recorded and acted upon if there are signs of:
All staff must be able to identify dogs that are anxious or fearful about contact. Records of assessment must be kept.
Dogs that are showing (or are likely to show) signs of nerves or stress must be kept in a suitable part of the business, especially if they are:
Staff must also take account of their individual needs.
Staff must get advice where necessary from a suitably qualified clinical animal behaviourist.
7.4 Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.
Training must be reward based. This means staff must reward desired behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour.
7.5 All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:
(a) learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare
(b) become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment
Documented processes must be in place to accommodate the needs of dogs under one year of age.
There must be a clear plan setting out 2 periods of exercise per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.
8.1 All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.
Dogs must always be handled humanely and appropriately to suit the requirements of the individual dog and to minimise fear, stress, pain and distress. Dogs must never be punished so that they become frightened or display agitated behaviour.
People must have the competence to handle dogs correctly.
A policy must be in place for dealing with difficult dogs, to include members of staff appropriately trained in dog handling and the use of appropriate equipment. They must also have the ability to recognise and act upon dogs with undesirable behaviours, as well as anxious or fearful dogs.
A suitable range of muzzles of varying sizes and a suitable dog catching device must be kept on site.
8.2 The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. Animals from a social species must not be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.
Only dogs from the same household can share a kennel unit and they must be monitored. The owner must give written authorisation to do this and consent must also include the authority to separate the dogs if there are problems.
8.3 The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.
Animals should be encouraged, but never forced to interact with people.
(a) be in place and implemented covering
(iv) the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease
(v) monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals
(vi) the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals)
(b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency
The procedures must include how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.
9.2 All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures.
9.3 Appropriate isolation in separate self-contained facilities must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.
The business must have a facility to isolate any dog that is:
If the isolation facility is at another location, such as a local veterinary practice, the licence holder must be able to provide evidence that the practice can do this (for example, a letter from the practice).
All staff must understand the procedures to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Where infectious disease is present in the whole premises, barrier nursing procedures, and people trained in these, must be implemented. This includes use of protective clothing and footwear (where applicable) changed between enclosures, separate storage of equipment and segregation of waste.
Dogs showing signs of infectious disease must not be allowed in any shared outside exercise area.
Protective clothing and footwear must be worn when handling dogs in the isolation facility, and sanitation protocols adhered to. Separate feeding and water bowls, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation unit ready for immediate use.
Dogs in the isolation facility must be checked at least as frequently as other dogs. Dogs showing signs of infectious disease must be visited after all the other dogs, unless there is a separate person only looking after the isolated dogs.
9.4 All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.
An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to show that dogs, including resident dogs, have current vaccinations against:
Vaccination against other diseases such as kennel cough (bordetella bronchiseptica or canine parainfluenza virus) may be required.
A vet certificate of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination. The certificate must state that it is valid for the current period. It is up to the licence holder whether to accept such a certificate.
Primary vaccination courses must be completed at least 2 weeks before acceptance into boarding.
Vaccines used must be licensed for use in the UK. Homeopathic vaccination is not acceptable.
If there is evidence of external parasites such as fleas, ticks or lice, the dog must be treated with an appropriate product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and licensed for use in the UK. Treatment must be discussed with a vet before giving it to the dog. The owner must consent to this.
9.5 All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.
This must be in a clearly-marked bin which is emptied either daily or when full, whichever is the sooner. Excreta must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure. Storage of excreta must be away from areas where animals or food are kept.
9.6 Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a vet or, in the case of fish, an appropriately competent person. The advice of that vet or, in the case of fish, that competent person must be followed.
9.7 Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.
When a dog is suspected by the trained first aider of being ill or injured a vet must be contacted for advice immediately and any instructions for treatment recorded. Further advice must be sought if there is ongoing concern.
Any preventive treatment must be administered with written consent from the owner and under the direction of a vet.
9.8 The licence holder must register with a vet that has an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence. The contact details of that vet must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.
The vet’s details must be displayed where they can be easily seen by all staff members.
The veterinary practice must be within a reasonable travel distance.
The licence holder will decide which vet they will use. They must get written consent from the dog’s owner before taking the dog to the vet.
9.9 Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely in a locked cupboard, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the vet.
All courses must be completed to the specifications given by the vet.
Any unused medications must be returned to the owner, nominated contact or prescribing vet.
A fridge must be available to store medicines that need to be kept at low temperatures.
9.10 Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or vet.
All medications must only be used with prior consent of the owner and in discussion with a vet.
9.11 Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals.
They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering of the animals.
The choice of cleaning and disinfectant products must be based on suitability, safety, compatibility and effectiveness. Disinfectant products must be virucidal as well as bacteriocidal.
Staff using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals, and must never be left in kennels.
Standing water must not be allowed to accumulate due to the possibility of pathogens residing in these moist environments.
Grooming equipment must be kept clean and in a good state of repair. If provided by the owner, it must only be used on that dog and must be sent home with the dog.
Toys must be cleaned and disinfected between uses for different dogs, disposed of, or returned to the dog’s owner (if they came in with the dog).
Kennels of long stay dogs must undergo periodical thorough cleaning, disinfection and drying.
Any equipment that has been used on an infectious or suspected infectious animal must be cleaned and disinfected after use or disposed of.
9.12 No person may euthanise an animal except a vet or a person who has been authorised by a vet as competent for such purpose or:
(a) in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose
(b) in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose
Only a vet may euthanise a dog.
The licence holder must keep a record of all euthanasia and the identity of the qualified vet that carried it out. The owner or designated main point of contact must be contacted to give consent. Unless imperative for the welfare of the dog, euthanasia must not take place until consent is given.
9.13 All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently.
9.14 Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a vet (or in the case of fish, of an appropriately competent person) must be sought and followed.
Records and any associated checklists must be made available to inspectors.
Presence or absence of faeces and urine must be monitored daily. Any abnormalities must be recorded and acted upon as appropriate.
10.1 A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises used for the licensable activity. It must be followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.
Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.
Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order. Buildings must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level or floor. Where appropriate, there must be at least one carbon monoxide detector.
A first aid kit suitable for treatment of dogs must be kept on site.
An emergency drill programme must be in place with annual testing, or as determined by fire risk assessments. All new members of staff must have this as part of their induction programme.
There must be a plan for housing of the dogs should the premises become uninhabitable.
There must be a documented policy in place for dealing with emergencies, including extremes of temperature and weather conditions (both hot and cold).
All electrical installations must be installed by appropriately qualified persons in a location where they do not present a risk.
All equipment must be maintained in a safe condition and good state of repair and must be serviced according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
10.2 The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable. It must also include an emergency telephone list with fire service and police contact details.
10.3 External doors and gates must be lockable.
10.4 A designated key holder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.
A reasonable distance is interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time in normal conditions.
In a non-domestic setting, an emergency contact name and number must be displayed on the outside of the premises.
A member of staff must be on site at all times.
Paragraph numbers relate to the conditions in the schedules of the regulations.
7.1 Dogs within the licensed premises must be prevented from coming into contact with other animals from outside the premises.
7.2 In each kennel unit, the sleeping area must:
(a) be free from draughts (b) provide the dog with sufficient space without touching another dog or the walls to:
i) sit and stand at full height ii) lie down fully stretched-out iii) wag its tail iv) walk v) turn around without touching another dog or the walls
(c) have a floor area which is at least twice the area required for the dog in it to lie flat (d) if built after the date on which these Regulations come into force, have a floor area of at least 1.9 square metres.
This applies to new builds and extensions. It does not apply to kennels rebuilding on an existing footprint. It is expected that many new boarding facilities will be significantly larger than the minimum sizes currently provided.
7.3 Each kennel unit must be clearly numbered and there must be a system in place so that relevant information about the dog or dogs in each kennel unit is available to all staff and any inspector.
7.4 Each dog must have constant access to its sleeping area.
There must be a clean resting place to provide comfort and warmth that is situated out of draughts.
All beds and bedding areas must be kept clean, dry and parasite free.
Bedding must be made of a material that is easy to wash and disinfect, or is disposable.
Bedding must be changed, cleaned and disinfected between dogs.
A dog must not be left without bedding. Soft bedding materials must be provided and adapted if necessary for old, young or infirm dogs to help regulate their body temperature. If a dog chews or destroys its bedding, it must be replaced with an alternative.
7.5 Each dog must have a clean, comfortable and warm area within its sleeping area where it can rest and sleep.
7.6 Each exercise run must have a single, safe, secure, waterproof roof over a minimum of half its total area.
The roofing material must be of a material (ideally translucent) capable of filtering UV light and providing shade. A run must not be used as the primary sleeping area.
7.7 Where a dog poses a health or welfare risk to other dogs, it must be kept on its own in a kennel unit. If that kennel unit adjoins another kennel unit, any adjoining wall must be of full height and width to prevent the dog from coming into physical contact with any other dog.
Partition walls may be temporary, as long as they are safe and robust.
7.8 Only dogs from the same household may share a kennel unit.
Written authorisation from the owner is required.
The sleeping area must be at least 2.85 square metres.
8.1 Any equipment that a dog is likely to be in contact with and any toy provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.
Items specific to a particular dog must be identified as such and only used for those dogs.
Items such as leads must be removed when the dog is in its kennel unit.
8.2 All dogs must be provided with toys or feeding enrichment (or both), unless advice from a vet suggests otherwise.
Supervised enrichment opportunities must be offered to each dog at least daily.
Food provision can be used to enhance enrichment. For example, through the use of devices increasing the time and effort taken to access food. This includes puzzle feeders, activity balls and stuffed rubber toys.
Where dogs are kept in pairs or larger groups, more devices must be available than the number of dogs and use must be supervised carefully to identify where adverse behaviour occurs.
Dogs which show adverse behaviour associated with feeding, or when provided with food based enrichment, must be separated from other dogs prior to feeding.
8.3 All toys and other enrichment items must be checked daily to ensure they remain safe and must be cleaned and disinfected at least weekly.
8.4 Each dog must be exercised at least once daily away from its kennel unit as appropriate for its age and health.
8.5 Any dog, which on the advice of a vet, cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.
Walks must be replaced with 2 extra periods of human interaction during the day using grooming, toys or play. Toys will ideally be on a rotation so that their preferences for different toys can be established and to minimise stress.
8.6 There must be an area within each kennel unit for the dog to avoid seeing people and other dogs outside the kennel unit if it wants to.
This applies whether a dog is single, paired or group housed.
The dog must be able to hide to avoid visual contact with other dogs. For example, by using blankets, crates and beds with high sides or screens.
There must be a documented daily enrichment plan setting out 2 or more sessions with toys or feed enrichment per day (in addition to their exercise).
9.1 A register must be kept of all the dogs at the premises which must include:
(a) the dates of each dog’s arrival and departure
(b) each dog’s name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed
(c) the number of any dogs from the same household
(d) a record of which dogs (if any) are from the same household
(e) the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the owner of each dog and emergency contact details
(f) the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency for each dog
(g) the name and contact details of the dog’s normal vet and details of any insurance relating to the dog
(h) details of each dog’s relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise
(i) details of the dog’s diet and related requirements
(k) a record of the date or dates of each dog’s most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments
(l) details of any medical treatment each dog is receiving
9.2 When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder’s name and contact details.
10.1 Where any other activity involving animals is undertaken on the premises, it must be kept entirely separate from the area where the activity of providing boarding for dogs in kennels takes place.
Units housing rescue or breeding dogs must be separate. Extra precautions must be taken to prevent the spread of disease and the licence holder must be able to demonstrate how this is managed. Ideally all equipment must be separate.
10.2 A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the vet with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented.
10.3 A holding kennel unit must only be used in an emergency and must not be used for longer than is necessary and in any event for no longer than a total of 12 hours in any 24 hour period.
10.4 In sub-paragraph (3), ‘holding kennel unit’ means a kennel unit, separate from any other kennel unit, in which a dog may be housed temporarily.
Holding kennels must comply with the conditions as required for main kennels. Holding kennels must be a minimum area to allow the dog to exhibit normal behaviour and dogs must be provided with a bed, food and water.
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